In this episode of The Disruptors Bible study I discuss how the prophet Elisha used an unconventional strategy to break the cycle of poverty for a single mother and her sons. Enjoy!
You can watch it here or listen to the audio of The Disruptors Podcast in my mobile app. I also encourage you to join us for our next live broadcast next Monday at 8:30 PM est.
The January theme for The Disruptors Bible study is “Disruptive Wealth.” God has always intended earthly wealth to be used by His children to advance His Kingdom. Unfortunately, too many of us don’t understand the principles that are required to generate a consistent flow of currency that results in an abundance of financial resources. In this first broadcast of 2018 I shared some major wealth-building principles straight from the Word of God.
You can watch the video here or listen to the audio of The Disruptors Podcast in my mobile app. I also encourage you to join us for our next live broadcast Monday at 8:30 PM est.
"Ideas can and do change the world," says historian Rutger Bregman, sharing his case for a provocative one: guaranteed basic income. Learn more about the idea's 500-year history and a forgotten modern experiment where it actually worked -- and imagine how much energy and talent we would unleash if we got rid of poverty once and for all.
One of the things I appreciated the most about Mr. Bregman's presentation was how he highlighted the fact that many people think those in poverty need to be "fixed" because of what outsiders see as poor decision making due to a lack of knowledge, character, or both. Now it's true that studies have shown that the poor tend to make decisions that often compound their situations. However, what is often overlooked or misunderstood is that their decisions are not necessarily due to a lack of intelligence or poor worth ethic. Their decisions are often driven by oppressive circumstances that push them into modes of survival more than sustainability. So one could argue that very likely that most people put in the same circumstances, regardless of their level of intelligence or character, would make the same decisions.
Check out my part 1 of my interview on "Mornings with Morris" hosted by my good friend, actor, and nutritionist Morris Austin. We discussed various topics, but one thing we focused on was why God is concerned about the social ills of people and why Christians should be concerned too, and some of the things we can actually do about it. Enjoy!
In America it's amazing how closely we live near people in poverty without even recognizing it. A recent article, A City Divided by Income, was published by WABE.org that highlighted the income divide in three distinct parts of Atlanta, which are divided by income status. The article focused not on three different cities, but three different divisions within the same city - upper, middle, and lower class - which is probably not much different than most metro areas in the US.
From the authors:
We decided to do this project because we wanted to show people that poverty is not an issue that is far away from them; it is in their backyard. All of these neighborhoods were within 30 minutes of each other, but they were drastically different. We want to break the bubble that many wealthy people live in and show them that poverty is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Read the full article at http://news.wabe.org/post/city-divided-income
The average cost per prison inmate per year to US tax payers is more than $31,200 and some states are as high as $60,000 (and these numbers are a few years old). In fact, certain states spend nearly three times as much to house prisoners than to educate students. And that's not counting all the negative family, social, emotional, mental, and community impact that's connected to each person who is incarcerated.
Of course we know that unemployment has a strong correlation to criminal activities. Further, studies have shown that youth crimes go down when they get jobs. So why haven't we connected the dots to see that if more jobs are needed in urban communities to help people take the initial and essential steps break generational cycles of poverty, we look to small businesses as a primary source of job creation?
I tackle the answer to that question in my online course, Business as Mission 2.1 Community Jobs Program. This innovative and dynamic online course merges the best practices and ingenuity that missional Christian entrepreneurs have successfully used for years in third world countries and applies them to inner cities and urban areas in America. It is a very unique course in that it combines effective strategies from the areas of 1) economic empowerment, 2) social engagement, and 3) spiritual enrichment. By the end of this course you will have a strategic playbook to make a significant impact in your community by integrating social entrepreneurship and urban missions in a compelling way.
I believe we can be more effective in dealing with crime prevention, in particular strategies to create jobs for at-risk youth and young adults who are most susceptible to committing crimes. And Business as Mission 2.1 will do just that!
We can do more to develop solutions that change lives financially, socially, and spiritually. Let's do it together for the sake of our future!
Just click below to get started...
Many people spend lots of time looking to do something in life that they are passionate about and they qualify the value of spending their time on it by how much it will enhance their life. However, I believe the true meaning of the concepts of passion and purpose challenge us to dig deeper and ask ourselves the question, "Is my dream worth dying for?"
Of course during this time of year we are again celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And while most of the conversations often focus on his dream, what was generally overlooked was what his dream cost him. His dream cost him his life.
When most people think about their dream, their are usually focused on how much better they want their life to be. And from what I have observed, most people aren't thinking about giving up the life they have to see their dream fulfilled. They pursue things that cause them to be more attached to this world than less attached.
Dr. King was very much aware of what the continual pursuit of his dream would cost him. Yet he still soldiered on in pursuit of something that was more important than his comfort. He still pressed forward to do something that others said was a lost cause or not worth the trouble. He was willing to speak out against materialism, poverty, and militarism when it was very unpopular to do so. And many historians would suggest this is what brought him into the crosshairs of a Remington 760 Gamemaster, not his push for civil rights.
So, what about you? Are you concerned more about living well than leaving a legacy? How much are you willing to sacrifice to see your dream come to pass?
Dr. King's dream was worth dying for. Is yours?
“To live outside of God’s will puts us in danger; to live in His will makes us dangerous.”
~ Erwin McManus from An Unstoppable Force
Typically when someone is considered dangerous, it means they are likely to cause damage or danger to someone or something. In essence they are a threat to safety, order, and peace. As I think about it, I want to be an intentional threat, but not to safety, order, and peace. I want to be a threat to things that injure, defeat, oppress, and negatively impact lives, especially young people.
The world is full of people who play it safe. I don’t want to be one of them. I want to live my life on the edge. However, I’m not necessarily talking about “death-defying” activities, such as bungee jumping, skydiving, or wrestling wild animals (that’s for a different post). I’m talking about maximizing my full potential by utilizing my God-given abilities, talents, gifts, and resources to be a catalyst for life transformation.
I have learned over time that being a life transformation catalyst means that I must be willing to smash the status quo, i.e. standards that people and society have accepted that shouldn’t be. I can’t strive for a life of ease and comfort. I have to take risks, stretch my faith, strategically apply my giftedness, and reach out to people that others have rejected.
By living dangerously, I want to smash the status quo for youth and young adults in the areas of:
For the past two weeks I have had a front row seat to the real condition of many of our young people through a business training I have been facilitating for at-risk youth through Greater Works Vocational Discipleship Program in Atlanta. It is heartbreaking to hear the deep sense of hopelessness a lot of them have that leads to their often rebellious and sometimes violent behavior. Although that behavior is never acceptable, I have a better understanding of the mindsets with which a great number of them are wrestling.
There are two obvious needs which are at the heart of the matter - economic insufficiency and spiritual deficiencies. Our society will see the destructive cycles of family and community degradation increase to greater levels if we don't address these conditions with a stronger sense of urgency.
God placed it on our hearts to respond to this urgent need by equipping youth with the tools needed to successfully break out of these cycles. This starts with inspiring them to dream big, identify their purpose, discover their unique talents, and apply their skills to impact their own communities. We use faith based business training that focuses on two main things: 1) the development of entrepreneurial and social skills, and 2) the growth of profitable enterprises that positively impact other people.
For the second consecutive year, Kinsman Community Ministries, Inc. will host the Inc. My Dream Young Boss Camp this summer in South Atlanta for youth ages 12 to 18. For two weeks, from July 13th - 24th, a select number of students will be trained in leadership, problem solving, business development, and more, with the goal of producing viable solutions that will have a direct benefit in their own communities and beyond. Last year's camp was a great success and we expect this one to be even better as we expand from 1 week to 2 weeks.
This camp is free to the students. So in order to cover our expenses we are inviting you to be one of the special 15 business sponsors we are seeking to donate at least $1000 each to partner with us to meet this urgent need of transforming the lives of these at-risk youth. In addition to the great benefits you will receive as a sponsor, your invaluable partnership with us will allow this innovative economic development initiative to become a blueprint that will export Christ-centered “economic evangelism” to poverty-challenged communities in other areas of Metro Atlanta, around the United States, and ultimately all over the world.
Click here to download the sponsorship package
Even if you can't donate the full $1000, your financial support at any level will help pay for the trainers, curriculum, supplies, food, and other resources needed to make this an unforgettable experience (the itemized list is in the sponsorship package). If we don't invest in our youth, we can't expect them to break the destructive cycles and become all that God created them to be.
We understand that to rebuild communities we must strengthen families spiritually and economically. And we hope that you share this same commitment.
God bless you and thanks in advance for helping us meet the urgent need of transforming the lives of these young leaders for our communities and His glory!
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Amos Johnson Jr.
Brotha Online Magazine
Business as Mission
The High Calling